I dug for clams once, my first and only time, so why in the world am I naming my memoir THIS WAS A REAL NICE CLAMBAKE?
Because once I wrote of it, I had Rodgers and Hammerstein's lyrics from Carousel (1958) stuck in my head until I gave it as the title.
"This was a real nice clam bake
We're mighty glad we came
The vittles we et
We're good; you bet
The company was the same
Our hearts are warm, our bellies are full
And we are feeling prime
This was a really nice clambake
And we all had a real good time."
--Public domain: "Published in the United States between 1928 and 1977, inclusive, without a copyright notice."
There are strict rules about using song lyrics, but to my surprise, this song came up public domain. So, I'm printing the lyrics because they pretty much sum up my life. And after being around the college performance of Carousel, in which my husband sang, those words were right on top of my brain.
I wrote this memoir while drunk. Maybe that explains that while in an altered state, anything can come up. And you know about the brain, it zigzags all over the place, one thing leads to another and sometimes you go, “Huh? Where did that come from?” However, I was not drunk on alcohol or any other mood-altering substances. I was drunk with inspiration.
It's Natalie Goldberg's fault.
It began as a memoir, but no longer is. However is was inspired by Old Friends from Far Away, by Natalie Goldberg who wrote, that a memoir doesn't have to be an old person's story; I was born in, went to school… Boring. It's for those moments that take our breath away--like on that hot day, you stopped the car by a creek, stripped off your pantyhose, waded into the stream fresh off an ice flow, and felt alive. (Guys, take off your socks, and who wears pantyhose anymore?)
I keep talking about my present writing experience for it changes daily, and has been my focus of attention for a a couple of months now. Before those last two months, I hadn’t planned on writing a memoir—I didn’t want anyone adding up the years, and didn't want it to be all about me. finally, I threw discretion to the wind and felt it was something I had to do.
I think everyone ought to write one, to take stock of one’s life and decide what you want to keep and what you want to throw away.
It can even be like “Morning Pages,” where you write out all the crap, gripe on paper, then stop telling the same old sad story over and over. For you know the saying, “Neurons that fire together wire together,” meaning you will fix them in your brain.
Free up your brain to be ready for the next adventure.
Live long, be happy,